Vodafone is to expand its European collaboration with Google in mobile messaging services, Pixel devices, and Vodafone’s TV platform.
Vodafone said the expanded agreement will enable its customers to enjoy rich new messaging experiences through the adoption of Google Jibe Cloud to power Vodafone’s use of Rich Communications Services (RCS). The agreement will also introduce the Pixel 7 handset to Vodafone customers and build out Vodafone functionality for other Pixel categories. Android TV will also be adopted as the preferred platform for Vodafone’s television offer in nine countries. The agreement will also enable Google to further leverage Vodafone’s 5G and ultra-fast fibre-optic networks.
“Expanding our excellent relationship with Google further will enable us to leverage their technological innovation to provide our consumer and business customers with engaging new experiences built on best-in-class services, all of which will be underpinned by our 5G and Gigafast broadband networks,” said Vodafone Group Chief Commercial Officer, Aldo Bisio.
Vodafone’s expanded relationship with Google will span three strategic areas. The first is
Messaging. Messages by Google, powered by Google's Jibe Cloud, will become the default messaging app on all applicable Android devices sold via Vodafone's carrier sales channels.
Vodafone users will benefit from an interactive modern messaging experience by supporting the RCS standard, which works on all Android smartphones, regardless of model or mobile network. This includes supporting high quality photos and videos, read receipts, enhanced group messaging and encryption for one-to-one chats, all with the highest level of data privacy and security.
Vodafone added that its Vodafone Business customers will also benefit from the expanded relationship with Google. It said its adoption of Google’s RCS business messaging platform, which today serves over 500m users across the globe, will simplify business onboarding and operations.
The second area is Pixel devices. Vodafone plans to expand the availability of Pixel smartphone and wearable devices to additional markets in 2023. Vodafone mobile customers in these countries will be able to use the new Pixel 7 phone, as well as Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds, with Vodafone’s 5G coverage. Vodafone and Google will also significantly improve the experience of other connected devices, including the Pixel Watch, through Vodafone’s mobile network and OneNumber service.
The third area is Vodafone TV. Vodafone will use Android TV as its preferred Group-wide set top box platform for Vodafone TV services going forward, allowing customers to access thousands of apps and games available on Google Play in addition to Vodafone TV entertainment content.